Metropolitan Opera Labor Dispute Telegram to the Principal Parties Negotiating New Labor Contracts.
I have been informed by the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service that intensive negotiations for new contracts between the Metropolitan Opera Association and the seventeen unions representing workers at the Metropolitan have thus far been unsuccessful.
I am personally concerned that the Metropolitan Opera has therefore announced the cancellation of the 1980-81 season.
Several thousand employees will be without work and thousands of others will be adversely affected in many ways if the Metropolitan Opera does not perform this season. More importantly, the Metropolitan is an institution that is beloved all around the world. Both its regular season in New York and its traveling season-which includes performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington and in many other communities across the country-are supported by full houses at every performance.
I know that with the assistance of the Mediation Service, both parties have tried earnestly to resolve their differences and that the decision taken by the Board of the Metropolitan Opera Association to cancel the season was made with great reluctance and sorrow. I know also that the cancellation is more than an economic burden on the performers, all of whom have a strong sense of loyalty and affection for the Metropolitan Opera.
For all these reasons, I ask the parties to these negotiations to reassess their positions, and I am directing Wayne Horvitz, Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, to ask both management and the unions to resume negotiations in another effort to open the 1980-1981 season.
Jimmy Carter, Metropolitan Opera Labor Dispute Telegram to the Principal Parties Negotiating New Labor Contracts. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/252031